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Way back when...September 1995

(My computer shut down midway through writing this, so here I go again...)

Unfortunately, this is my only issue of 1995, the others having been lost somehow over the years.

1995 was a memorable year for me, with Michael Schumacher winning his second world title before scarpering to Ferrari, and more importantly, Colin McRae winning his only WRC championship. Great memories.

This particular issue was a landmark too for the magazine, for it got a new look, which was to last it nearly 7 years. And what an appropriate car to feature on the cover too.

(Pardon the scratches. It is quite old)

The Peugeot 406 is launched, and it was described as 'a beauty'. It certainly did look good back then. One of the last truly beautiful Peugeots that's for sure.

Rumours abound that Mercedes would be dropping the SLK moniker for it's upcoming roadster, and going for 'R-Class'. We all know what happened. The R-Class ended up as a big luxury wagon.

European Hotline
The Audi A8 is driven in Germany, in both 3.7 and 4.2 litre forms. A very smooth, luxurious cruiser that feels at home at triple digit speeds on the Autobahn.

Fiat decided to choose Scotland, of all places, to launch the Coupe. In hindsight, it did provide very fascinating roads to drive on. An absolutely bold, striking car that looks great even today, 13 years on, as I'm sure Tim R would agree.   I absolutely loved it.

The Porsche Boxster is snapped testing in Germany, with more unfounded rumours that it would be badged 986. That proved to be inaccurate as well.

Comparision Test
A hot hatch showdown, between the Opel Corsa GSi, Suzuki Swift GTi and the Seat Ibiza GTi. While the Europeans were definitely better in terms of styling and interior packaging, the humble Swift gave a good fight in terms of performance and drivability, where it matters. Ultimately though, it wasn't enough and the Ibiza managed to win it over the Opel, which was let down by it's underwhelming chassis.

The Alfa Romeo 146 is tested in Manchester, which 'was a stupid place for a car launch'. Having being disappointed by the 145's sticky gearchanges, loud engine noise and bad ride, expectations were low of the 145's bigger brother. Surprisingly though, the 146 was a marked improvement over it's smaller sibling. Perhaps Alfa did learn their lesson.

The best selling cars in Singapore for the first half of 1995 are revealed, and top of the pile is the Mercedes E-Class. For a luxury car at the end of it's production life, that is a remarkable achievement. With the C-Class coming in 5th, and the S-Class in 11th (incredibly), it made Mercedes the best selling make in Singapore. You can't find this anywhere else, and certainly shows the state of the economy of the country back then, where a luxury sedan can be the best seller.

Michael Schumacher dominated the 1995 French Grand Prix, taking a huge step towards his second world title.

At the next race in Silverstone though, controversy reigned as Schumi and Damon Hill tangled. Johnny Herbert ended up winning the race, as half the field were eliminated.

Shell Helix Ultra, with a naked Naomi Campbell covered only in the oil in the fashion of jewellery. "Liquid Gold. Anything else is a compromise"

Clarion Car Audio, with their 'satellite-guided car navigation system that orient drivers with CD-ROM maps and voice instructions'. "It's almost like re-inventing the wheel" they said. Well, with all the misaccurate predictions, this one certainly was bang on the mark, with GPS becoming commonplace now.

Bit tiring and disappointing to write this for nobody...

I'm taking a break for now. Have to pace myself instead of writing one every day, otherwise I'll run out of magazines before the end of the year.

Sorry Ben, forgot about you doing this.  Good reading.  Was the fiat coupe ever 'fast and furious' though?  All i can say for the next installment is


I would think it was, at least for the Turbo version. Though the turbo lag was prominent.

Unfortunately, sifting through the past mags, there isn't anything on the Puma. Not helped by it not being sold here. But there could be a small, related bit in an upcoming issue...

Re: Way back when...September 1995

BeN wrote:

The Alfa Romeo 146 is tested in Manchester, which 'was a stupid place for a car launch'.

Would've been very different if they'd gone a few miles east into the Peak District.

DradusContact wrote:
Was the fiat coupe ever 'fast and furious' though?  

It's certainly fast.
Although the original 16valve turbos had a 'mere' 185BHP the 20valve turbos had a much more acceptable 220.
This enabled 0-60 in about 6.5 secs and approx 155 flat out.

These are the kind of figures that are still only matched by most current turbo hot hatches 10 years later.

As for furious, well the car has never been accused of being a torque steering monster for example which compares well with, say, the Mini Cooper S which has less torque and a few years more knowledge on its side.

It's still alive...

Apologies for the lack of updates. Christmas period has been a wee bit busy for me.

I'll try to get another report up soon.

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